I was recently sent an article that resonated deeply with me about the physical and mental benefits of spending time in nature. I think we can all agree that nature makes us “feel better” but scientists are beginning to find evidence that being in nature has a profound impact on our brains and our behavior, helping us to reduce anxiety, brooding, and stress, and increase our attention capacity, creativity, and our ability to connect with other people.
After reading the article (which you can find here), I became aware of how much being in nature affects my own wellbeing. It was only last weekend, on a Sunday at home in front of my laptop, that I mentioned to Jessica that I was experiencing some anxiety for reasons I could not really explain. Jess suggested straightaway to me, “Why don’t you go for a surf?" So I did. I returned home about 2 hours later a completely different person, relaxed, and calm (sadly however still a very average surfer).
I have also noticed this with my sons whose relationship is being tested during lockdown together. Now, if I see things escalating between them I suggest we go for a walk with the dog in nearby Trumper or Centennial Park (off the beaten track), or a swim at Bondi. Every time we return from one of these outings I smile to myself as I look in the rear-view mirror at them giggling and chatting away as best friends again.
We have recently implemented a policy at work for our employees to spend at least one hour per week in nature, during work hours, and then to report back to us at our weekly meeting what they did and how it made them feel. It is so nice to hear everyone’s responses each week including: walks along the water in Balmoral (Claire in Sydney) to hikes in nearby mountains (Carol in Bogota, Columbia) to simply sitting amongst a self-made indoor forest of potted plants (Khyla in Manila, Philippines).
There is a great quote in Julia Baird’s brilliant book which explores the benefits of time spent in nature, Phosphorescence:
“More Nature - Feel Better”
A mantra we could all live by.
Paul Davidson, Co-Founder